James R. Grover Jr. ’49 was a former U.S. congressman who dedicated his life to government at the local, state, and federal levels. He passed away on October 14, 2012, at the age of 93.
Grover was born in Babylon, N.Y., in 1919. He graduated from Hofstra College in 1941 before going to work for Republic Aviation, a Long Island–based aircraft manufacturer, and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, one of the country’s largest military and civilian aircraft production companies. Grover entered the U.S. Army in 1942, serving in World War II as an intelligence officer. He enrolled at Columbia Law School in 1946 and received his J.D. from the Law School three years later.
In 1950, Grover returned to Babylon to open his own private practice, and he served on the Babylon Village school board before being elected to the New York State Assembly in 1957. Five years later, Grover was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
During the next 12 years, Grover made a name for himself as a centrist, bipartisan politician. He was a senior member of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation and the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. In the early 1970s, he persuaded the Labor Department to declare Suffolk County, N.Y., an employment disaster area, which placed his home county in a position to qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for municipal improvements and projects.
After leaving Congress in 1975, Grover returned to his law practice in Babylon and then served as general counsel for Tii Technologies from 1977 to 2004. He remained extremely active in his community, serving on the board of directors for the Suffolk County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and as a founding member of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, among many other activities.
Grover is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, James, Jill, Nancy, and Jean; eight grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.